Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free update

I'll start off by admitting the second month was much harder! I will also admit that I cheated many, many times. Things were going as smooth as ever, but a few things nudged me a little off track. First of all, our budget had become much tighter. During the first month of the elimination diet, I still had tax return money left over. I spent almost all of what I had intended to become an emergency savings on stocking up on gluten free essentials (bread, gf cereal, baking powder, tamari, replacing other foods I had been eating) and a couple splurges, like gf desserts and ingredients to make my own gf df treats. It's a lot easier to stick to a diet when you have a surplus of essentials and snacks (especially desserts, in my case), that way, when you crave something, it's there for you. Or, if you can't have what you crave, an equally delicious gluten free meal is there to distract you. But when you can't splurge on whatever (gf item) you want, whenever you want, you're stuck with the basics, which can get boring.

And when your diet gets boring, the illegal alternatives get tempting! I think my first big cheat was during a dinner event in honor of the soon-to-be-open restaurant that Spencer is part of. The food offered was amazing; pimento mac n cheese, collard greens (with butter), deviled eggs with bacon (these I could have), fried chicken, biscuits, and fresh cookies galore! I really wanted to taste the amazing food Spencer had made, and I did. I thought that would be the end, until Spencer brought home leftovers! And when you are on a budget, it is hard to say no to free food! And free cookies.

It seemed like the rest of the month held one thing after the next where it was just easier to eat what was offered; a friend's engagement party, my brother's birthday dinner, mother's day, as well as a handful of other situations. After the first couple events, I did notice November's cradle cap worsening, and her skin reacting slightly. After these events, I did end up getting back on track in the gluten free department. Dairy, however, was a different story. It was especially hard to avoid, especially with a free block of cheddar from WIC staring at me from inside our fridge!

Right around this time, our pediatrician recommended we commence part 2 of the elimination diet: reintroduction of the possible culprit foods, to figure out which one (if not both) was responsible. I figured I would start with dairy, since I was already halfway off the bandwagon.

After a couple weeks of eating dairy full-time, November's dry rashes came back. I was so disappointed! I really wanted the culprit to be gluten, since it was so much easier for me to abstain from! And once I brought dairy back after over a month of elimination, it was even HARDER to re-eliminate it! I've been working on it for weeks, but I still haven't re-eliminated dairy completely. I'm starting small with eliminating cow's milk as much as I can (or am willing to, more like) and just enjoying goat and sheep cheeses here and there, and seeing if that helps. I'm eating gluten here and there like spelt bread, but I really like a lot of the gluten free finds like Udi's bread and corn pasta, so I will continue to enjoy some gf things as well!

One thing we have added to our diet is Chia seeds! They are so high in Omegas; I mix some chia meal into coconut non-dairy beverage, let it sit for 30 minutes, and it becomes pudding-like or cream-of-wheat-ish. I top it with sliced banana, berries, and a handful of granola for a tasty snack. For November, I put Chia meal into her purees! She loves it. They are supposedly great for skin and even constipation, two issues which poor Nova suffers from!

So there we are with our current foodie adventures. Should I admit that I've been working on this post for like two weeks, if not longer?! Busy days for me and the bay bay!

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